Public Sector Bargaining Mandates & Agreements

2019 Sustainable Services Negotiating Mandate

The Sustainable Services Negotiating Mandate applies to all public sector employers with unionized employees whose collective agreements expire on or after December 31, 2018.

  • The Sustainable Services Negotiating Mandate is about improving the delivery of services for people in B.C., and balancing the need for fair and reasonable wage increases with outcomes that are affordable and managed within the fiscal plan.
  • The Mandate is designed to support government’s core priorities and enhance and modernize the delivery of services that British Columbians rely on. 
  • It ensures the fiscal sustainability of our province while providing fair compensation.

Elements of the 2019 mandate:

  • Three-year term
  • General wage increases of 2% in each year
  • Ability to negotiate conditional and modest funding that can be used to drive tangible service improvements for British Columbians.  An example would be targeted funds to address existing, chronic labour market challenges where employers need to meet service delivery commitments or changes that achieve service enhancements such as innovations, modernization or efficiencies.

Past Mandates

2014 Economic Stability Mandate

The Economic Stability Mandate applied to all public sector employers with unionized employees whose collective agreements expired on or after December 31, 2013.

The mandate provided:

  • employers with the ability to negotiate longer-term agreements within a fixed fiscal envelope
  • public sector employees with an opportunity to participate in the Province’s economic growth through the Economic Stability Dividend – for example, if actual real GDP growth is one percentage point above forecast real GDP growth, then a 0.5% wage increase would result, beyond whatever wage increase had been negotiated in the contract

The goals of the mandate:

  • To create certainty and stability throughout the public sector through longer-term voluntarily negotiated agreements.
  • To protect the Province’s fiscal plan and public services by negotiating collective agreements that provide affordable service delivery to B.C. taxpayers.
  • To provide public sector employees with the opportunity to share in the economic growth of the Province, conditional upon economic performance and ability to pay.

2012 Cooperative Gains Mandate

The 2012 Cooperative Gains Mandate applied to all public sector employers whose collective agreements expire on or after December 31, 2011.

  • The Cooperative Gains Mandate enabled public sector employers to negotiate modest wage increases made possible by productivity increases within existing budgets
  • Settlements under the Cooperative Gains Mandate were  unique and differentiated between sectors and between employers in some sectors as each depended on a number of factors, particularly the ability to generate savings to fund modest compensation improvements

Principles of the 2012 mandate:

  • The Province will not provide additional funding for increases to compensation negotiated in collective bargaining
  • Employers are directed to work with responsible ministries and employer bargaining agents to develop Savings Plans to free up funding from within existing budgets to provide modest compensation increases
  • Employers must not reduce service levels to the public in order to fund compensation increases
  • Employers must not transfer the costs of existing services to the public to pay for compensation increases
  • Savings Plans can include savings resulting from operational cost reductions, increased efficiency, service redesign, business gains and other initiatives, so they can propose much broader savings than under the previous Net Zero Mandate
  • Identified savings are to be used to fund compensation increases that will facilitate negotiated settlements with unions through collective bargaining
  • Identified savings must be real, measurable and incremental to savings identified by public service employers to meet Provincial Budget and deficit reduction targets for 2012/13 and beyond
  • Employers and unions may also negotiate other savings at the bargaining table to supplement Savings Plans
  • Employers are not required to negotiate a target wage increase but increases must be modest and employers must have an approved Bargaining Plan from government
  • Employers must seek agreements of at least two years in length; there is no maximum term for collective agreements under the Cooperative Gains Mandate

2010 Net Zero Mandate

The 2010 Net Zero Mandate applied to all public sector employers whose collective agreements expired on or after December 31, 2009.

  • Under the 2010 Mandate, negotiators sought to move money from one part of the collective agreement to another, so any improvements in the collective agreements have to be offset by savings in other compensation areas

Elements of the 2010 mandate:

The goal of Mandate 2010 was to achieve voluntarily negotiated collective agreements in the B.C. public sector that assist the Province in delivering public services in a cost-effective and financially prudent manner:

  • A two-year term
  • No net increases in total compensation costs
  • Compensation trade-offs: savings found through (mutually-agreed) changes in collective agreements may be used to fund compensation increase